Why Chores Are Absolutely Essential to Your Child's Development
My children are SPOILED!
I'm a parent coach and sometimes even I utter the words above. And when I do, I'm tempted to blame today's culture. But, if I want my children to be independent, happy, and self-sufficient adults, I need to focus on the things I can change. If you are an American parent following parenting tips or parenting advice trends, you probably don’t require your children to do chores even though your parents expected it of you AND you think that children who do chores regularly fare better in life skills.
What the EXPERTS say...
According to a national survey released by Braun Research in 2014, 82% of 1,001 parents said they had chores as children. A significant 75% responded that regular chores at home made kids "more responsible" and 63% said chores teach our children "valuable life lessons." But here’s the kicker, only 28% of them required their own children to do chores.
As a parent coach who believes in effective parenting, I agree with the 75%.
Chores are essential for raising a child into a capable, independent, successful, and happy adult. Chores are the cornerstone of effective child discipline. If you are struggling in this area, here's how this parent coach suggests you get your kids on board with chores in your home.
8 Steps to Start Chores
- Make a list of all the chores and tasks that you and your partner do on a daily and weekly basis.
- Circle the ones your children can do (if you have more than one child, you may have to put the letter of the child’s first name that is old enough to do that chore).
- Star the ones you need to train them to do.
- Create a 7-day calendar for each child and distribute the chores among the days on each calendar with considerations for their after-school activities and homework. Distribute as reasonably as you feel.
- Have a family meeting (more on that in a future blog post) and inform the family of the new distribution of household responsibilities.
- Post the calendars and tell your children that, starting today, the chores posted need to be complete BEFORE bedtime (or dinner or whatever time you determine) each day. Ask them if they have questions and let them know that you will train them this first week or so on the chores they do not know how to do.
- The first week you can “remind” them by asking if they have any questions about how to do the chores. But, other than that and beyond the first week, relax. Do not remind them.
- Make a mental note if a chore is not done by your child. When he or she wants something, you can simply answer with a no and explain that they did not do their chores. Therefore they will not get what they want. For example, your response can be, “You did not do your chores on Tuesday; therefore, you will not go to Jenny’s house to play. Instead, you are going to help me with some things today because I did your job for you on Tuesday.”
Within 4-6 weeks, everyone should be on a new routine, and your children will be happier and on their way to becoming happy, independent people in a tidy home!